Over the last year, Instagram has really evolved and is now a very powerful photo and video sharing service that nearly 9 in 10 brands take advantage of. Instagram manages to get higher interaction rates that other social networks such as Facebook which is very interesting. Although Facebook is one of the biggest network in the world, it does not necessarily reflect the actual engagement and interactions going on within the platforms. Brands engaging on Instagram are getting more interaction through each post than posting things on Facebook. For tourism marketers this is quite interesting, as many are well established on Facebook and are more and more using Instagram as another platform, however, it is crucial to understand how Instagram can be used as an essential part of the overall social media strategy in the most efficient way (eMarketer 2014).
Instagram is still a fairly new community which is also reflected through its 150 million monthly users which are only a fraction of the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Although on a first glance, this might be a reason for marketers not to be as active on Instagram as on other networks, it is however also important to look closely at brand interaction rates on the different social networks. eMarketer’s statistics show that the brand interaction on Twitter is lowest with 0.04%, followed by Google+ with 0.09%, closely followed by Facebook with 0.10% and Instagram as the clear leader with 1.53% which is a big jump from Twitter and also still a significant difference between Instagram and Facebook. As 9 in 10 brands are actually already using Instagram, it is certainly something they are doing right, however, the interaction rates should be a clear indication for marketers to not only just be on Instagram but also to use it in a sophisticated way to increase the interaction taking place between Instagram users and the brand.
INSTAGRAM VS. FACEBOOK
Worldwide, 89% of brands have both an Instagram and Facebook account. However, when narrowing down the usage of Instagram further, it is very interesting to see that for most brands, this is already where their Instagram usage stops. Only 12% of brands on Instagram have promoted the platform in the last 30 days and an even lower 9% have solicited Instagram UGC in the last 30 days. A large majority of brands have actually integrated Instagram custom tabs into their Facebook page, to enable integration of the 2 services. A lot of brands, also in tourism, encourage consumers to submit images with sepia-toned content on Facebook and through Instagram, so for marketers, a cross-over is natural between the two platforms. In general, many brands should certainly aim to improve the way in which consumers interact with their brand on all social media and in particular on Instagram, as the platform does prove to have higher brand interactions than others.
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